Sustainability Transitions: Design, Diplomacy and Data

80 hours of class; 40 hours of teaching; 10 hours of site-visits; 20 hours of presentations from external experts; 10 hours of groupwork and assignments.

By taking this course, you will:

  • BOOST YOUR PROFILE. The School is a 10-days intensive learning experience designed to upgrade participants’ sustainability skillset through engaging lectures, eye-opening field visits to hubs in Geneva, focused contributions external experts, and social occasions to foster network-building.
  • THE THREE Ds. Designing sustainability transition requires a solid understanding of their conceptual foundations; Diplomacy skills are essential to align stakeholders to implement transitions; Data represents the essence of monitoring, which in turn makes sustainability transitions durable in time.
  • THINK DIFFERENTLY. The School provides participants with the foundations to understand sustainability in the 2020s. This means acquiring new ways of thinking and new tools, including the nexus paradigm and the SDG framework.
  • LEARN TO NEGOTIATE. Stakeholders involved in sustainability transitions very rarely align their priorities; therefore, trained professionals are required to ensure implementation and reduce conflict. The School teaches participants how to boost their negotiation skills, as well as the necessary leadership skills. It does so combining cutting-edge concepts with hands-on simulations.
  • UNDERSTAND NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS. Successful sustainability solutions increasingly require a minimization of negative externalities. Nature-based solutions represents the standard of excellence to this end. The School focuses in particular on how to implement nature-based solutions in cities.
  • MAKE DATA WORK FOR YOU. To avoid failure of sustainability transitions, effective tracking and monitoring must be brought to the forefront and included in the design stage. Both require the provision of good-quality data, which in turn requires an understanding of data acquisition, data standards and data management practices. Moreover, understanding the disclosure and communication of such data is paramount. The School provides this knowledge package to participants, presenting the latest methods, concepts and tools with a hands-on approach.
  • NETWORK AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. The knowledge base of the summer school has been developed in cooperation with several International Organizations, which also provide experts to train participants on specific real-world cases.

Featuring presentations and cast studies from experts from various International Organizations (UN and non-UN).

Early Bird Deadline (15 February 2020): 1600 CHF

Final Deadline (15 April 2020): 2100 CHF

Special price for Unige students: 500 CHF

Note for all applicants: no reference letter is required for this course. Please only add your CV and your Motivation Letter to your online application.

Dr. Matteo Tarantino
Institute for Environmental Sciences
University of Geneva

Dr. Alexandre Hedjazi
Institute for Environmental Sciences
University of Geneva


  • Day 1 Understanding Sustainability through the framework of Nexuses
  • Day 2 How to identify, leverage and maximise transitions towards sustainability: Leaderships
  • Day 3 How to map positive and negative externalities
  • Day 4 How to design and implement nature-based solutions
  • Day 5 Sustainability at the Urban Scale: Housing & Infrastructure
  • Day 6 Sustainability Monitoring: Challenges and Perspectives
  • Day 7 Understanding Nexi through data : types, use and challenges
  • Day 8 Data quality standards and assurance techniques
  • Day 9 Mapping Sustainability: GIS & Maps
  • Day 10 Monitoring Sustainability at the Urban Scale: Housing

A more detailed schedule will be online soon.